Criteria for ranking the top 10 pharma employers of 2023
Before diving into the top 10 pharma employers of 2023, it’s important to note the factors contributing to their success. We considered multiple metrics in this listing. To rank the companies, we used a weighted approach, assigning 0.7 weight to Glassdoor ratings and 0.3 weight to Comparably ratings. On top of that, we evaluated the company’s benefits, giving 0.1 weight to this metric. Additionally, we added bonus points (0.5 each) for inclusion in top employer rankings from Indeed, Fortune and Forbes.
[Check out our companion article, which provides the scores for the top 25 pharma employers of 2023 and our coverage ofthe best pharma companies to work for in 2022.]
1. Recursion Pharmaceuticals: Strong culture and mission make the firm the top 10 pharma employer of 2023
Pros: The biotech company has a strong culture, mission and vision, according to Glassdoor reviewers. Employees find the leadership supportive. A total of 91% support CEO Chistopher C. Gibson. Most workers find the workplace atmosphere to be positive, with opportunities for advancement for junior employees. Glassdoor reviewers also praise the company’s generous salary, health benefits and interdisciplinary approach to drug discovery.
Cons: In the negative column, some employees report concerns with middle management and express concerns about the fast pace and technical debt.
2. Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical: Passionate teams, work-life balance and patient-centric focus
Pros: Glassdoor reviewers appreciate Ultragenyx’s passionate teams, great work/life balance, diverse culture and the company’s focus on rare genetic diseases. A total of 90% support CEO Emil Kakkis. The majority of reviewers praise the company’s results-oriented culture commitment to teamwork. Employees also value the company’s benefits and emphasis on patient centricity.
Cons: Some workers have concerns about upper management, communication and inexperienced managers.
3. Merck: Competitive pay and benefits, but some find management challenges
Pros: Merck offers competitive benefits and pay compared to other pharma companies, according to Glassdoor reviewers. Employees appreciate the year-end bonus and work/life balance. Merck CEO Robert Davis is popular, winning the support of 91% of Glassdoor reviewers.
Cons: Some workers have concerns about management, citing a lack of trust between management and representatives, frequent layoffs and reorganizations. On Comparably, the company’s overall culture has an A- ranking.
4. Novartis: Good work-life balance, talented colleagues but management issues
Pros: Glassdoor reviewers highlight the company’s work-life balance, attractive benefits, talented colleagues and culture. The company also has a strong investment in R&D. CEO Vas Narasimhan is popular. On Comparably, he has the support of 85% of Novartis employees and the support of 83% on Glassdoor. The company’s culture is also strong, winning a score of 4.6 out of 6 on Comparably. Four out of five people leaving Glassdoor reviews would recommend the firm to a friend.
Cons: Some employees report poor management, citing concerns about leadership and bureaucracy. Other workers note limited growth opportunities depending on the team.
5. Eli Lilly: Great benefits, supportive environment but complaints of bureaucracy
Pros: Employees at the Big Pharma firm, which was founded in 1876, value its great benefits and the company’s commitment to employee well-being, according to Glassdoor reviewers. The company strives to maintain a good work/life balance and is patient-centered. Most workers are happy with their pay and workplace conditions. A total of 77% of Glassdoor reviewers would recommend the company to a friend. A total of 84% workers support David A. Ricks on Glassdoor.
Cons: Some reviewers have expressed concerns about talent identification for promotions, bureaucratic and political concerns. Others complain of frequent layoffs and restructures.
6. AstraZeneca: Diverse pipeline, work-life balance but management concerns
Pros: Glassdoor reviewers appreciate AstraZeneca’s benefits, work-life balance, inclusivity, pay and culture. Many workers are upbeat about its global pipeline. The company’s CEO Pascal Soriot is popular, winning the support of 94% of 2,754 Glassdoor reviewers. A total of 85% would recommend the firm to a friend.
Cons: Some workers note concerns about direct-line management, complaining of executives focusing on their own advancement. Other complaints include frequent layoffs and limited growth opportunities.
7. GSK: Good benefits, work-life balance, but leadership diversity questions
Pros: GSK offers competitive benefits, an attractive share scheme and outstanding pay, according to Glassdoor reviews. Employees enjoy the work-life balance and the opportunity to work with great people. Most workers like the company’s culture, and employees praise the opportunity to work on a variety of project types. CEO Emma Walmsley is popular, winning the backing of 84% of 3,119 Glassdoor reviewers.
Cons: Some workers have concerns about poor management, difficulty staying motivated with poor management. One theme in negative Glassdoor reviews involved a perceived lack of diversity in senior leadership.
8. AbbVie: Growing company, supportive culture, but leadership challenges
Pros: Glassdoor reviewers praise AbbVie for its good benefits, helpful team of employees, great culture, good work-life balance, and competitive pay for contractors. A total of 86% support CEO Richard A. Gonzalez, and the majority of employees appreciate the company’s growth and opportunities.
Cons: Some workers have concerns about the lack of supportive leaders and HR issues. Additionally, some employees feel that the work-life balance can be challenging despite senior leadership’s efforts to improve in this area.
9. Pfizer: Strong purpose and culture with management and reorganization concerns
Pros: Glassdoor reviewers appreciate Pfizer’s good benefits, workplace culture, and work-life balance. Employees value the company’s purpose and culture, as well as the competitive pay. Additionally, a total of 87% of reviewers on Glassdoor support CEO Albert Bourla, while four out of five workers would recommend the company to a friend.
Cons: Some workers have concerns about poor management, constant reorganizations and layoffs, micro-managing, and long hours. Some employees also believe that middle and upper management are out of touch.
10. Horizon Therapeutics: Unique benefits, positive culture but remote work complaints
Pros: Horizon Therapeutics is praised by Glassdoor reviewers for its unique benefits, positive work culture, and emphasis on employee well-being. A total of 90% support CEO Timothy P. Walbert. Employees appreciate the company’s commitment to work-life balance and opportunities for growth. A total of 88% of Glassdoor reviewers would recommend Horizon to friends.
Cons: Some workers have concerns about the company’s approach to remote work and communication challenges. The company’s leadership “hasn’t recognized that hybrid and remote work are here to stay,” according to several reviewers.
Filed Under: Cell & gene therapy, Drug Discovery, Drug Discovery and Development, Pharma 50
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